The Victory Song

Three boys in the schoolyard were bragging about who had the better father: The first boy says, “My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, and they give him $100.” The second boy says, “That’s nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on … More

Song

Deborah’s and Borah’s song of victory is among the most beautiful poems of the Old Testament (v. 1). Probably Israel sang it for years after they were gone. The song begins with praise to the Lord for His great deeds during the Exodus and wilderness wandering(vv. 2-4). It then goes into the conditions that existed under the oppression of the Canaanites at that time (vv. 5-6).

It tells how before Deborah the land was in chaos. Deborah describes the distressed state of Israel under the tyranny of Jabin, that their salvation might appear more gracious. She shows what brought this misery upon them. It was their idolatry. During this turbulent period communications were disrupted, commercial trading was impossible, agriculture was affected and the villages were under attack. This desperate situation continued until Deborah brought deliverance to the  nation (vv. 7-13).

The campaign could not have been undertaken without the support of the rulers of the different tribes so prominence is given to them throughout this song (vv. 14-16). While there is commendation given to the participating tribes there is also a stern rebuke of those who were more concerned about their own safety than the needs of their brethren. It is clear that the appeal made for their assistance fell on deaf ears and not even a token force was sent.

Application

Criticism of those who do not come to our aid in a time of distress may be a condemnation of our own lack of coming to the help of our brethren when they are in need. Who have I helped in recent days who was in need and who could my family reach out to this week?

Judges 5:1-16 (English Standard Version)


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